Reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were followed in 16 Antarctic expeditioners during winter-over isolation at two Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition stations. Delayed-type hypersensitivity skin testing was used as an indicator of the CMI response, which was evaluated two times before winter isolation and three times during isolation. At all five evaluation times, 8 or more of the 16 subjects had a diminished. CMI response. Diminished CMI was observed on every test occasion in 4/16 subjects; only 2/16 subjects exhibited normal CMI responses for all five tests. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used to detect EBV DNA in saliva specimens collected before, after, and during the winter isolation. EBV DNA was present in 17% (111/642) of the saliva specimens; all 16 subjects shed EBV in their saliva on at least one occasion. The probability of EBV shedding increased (p=0.013) from 6% before or after winter isolation to 13% during the winter period. EBV appeared in saliva during the winter isolation more frequently (p<0.0005) when CMI responsiveness was diminished than when CMI status was normal. The findings indicate that the psychosocial, physical, and other stresses associated with working and living in physical isolation during the Antarctic winter results in diminished CMI and an accompanying increased reactivation and shedding of latent viruses.